Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Latest Trend in the Wine Business: The Stelvin Closure

One accepted mandate for years in the wine business was the simple concept of loss. Out of 100 bottles of wine that used natural cork as closures, there was almost a given that up to 7% of the bottles could be tainted or “corked” by the presence of  Continue Reading »

Where Austin’s Top Chefs Like to Eat

You would think that after nights of toiling away in their own kitchens, Austin chefs would like to hunker down ay home and relax. Au contraire! They go out and let somebody cook for them. We recently saw the uber-hot Paul Qui at Jack Allen’s Kitchen  Continue Reading »

Why Opening Nights Generally Suck

The near hysteria that surrounded the opening of Paul Qui’s new restaurant on East 6th was not atypical of what happens when the “first in line” frenzy takes over. Gotta love those early adopters. The result yielded about as strange  Continue Reading »

Bizarre and Curious Moments in the Life of a Food Critic

In my 15 years of reviewing restaurants I’ve seen some fairly unusual things: actually far more than I can document. But here are some of my favorites. Got Milk? Several years ago at one of our higher end restaurants a commotion occurred when one  Continue Reading »

Very Important News from the Chain Restaurant World

As ours is a site that primarily focuses on owner-operated restaurants, every now and then I get some news from the Chain Restaurant world that I just can’t resist commenting on. For example, the Nation’s Restaurant News announces that Applebee’s,  Continue Reading »

Maybe it’s the Moon or the Smoke from Mexico

It seems that over the past few weeks, I’ve heard more horror stories than I have in a year about our readers’ bad experiences at restaurants with either service, food, or both. I don’t know what’s going on. Preferably and hopefully, this is just  Continue Reading »

Food Friday Celebrates Anniversary

One of the longer running programs on Austin radio is Food Friday on 590 KLBJ-AM. The show airs the last Friday of every month from 9-10am, and we just celebrated our 9th anniversary. The format is simple. I join Mark Caesar, Sgt. Sam Cox, and Ed Clements,  Continue Reading »

Closings of Owner-operated Restaurants Trending Upward

There’s almost always a snide comment or twenty from the armchair experts on user-generated websites when an owner operated restaurant closes. And there seem to have been a disproportionate amount of these closings in the past twelve months: Rivals  Continue Reading »

Dining on the NCL’s Epic Raises the Bar on the High Seas

We just returned from a week in the Caribbean aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s biggest ship, The Epic. The weather sucked, which normally kills a cruise like this one. But for yours truly, the dining was such that it took our minds off the omnipresent  Continue Reading »

Restaurant Patios: To Smoke Or Not to Smoke

I was on the original committee that gave input to the city on banning smoking in restaurants. I am not a smoker, and I dislike being around it while eating. But my input was based on a more pragmatic point of view: no mandates or impositions on restaurant  Continue Reading »